Buy the HTC Droid Incredible! April 29, 2010
Reviewer: C. Moberg "Slickdealer" (Peoria, IL USA) -
I've had this phone since April 28th and I'm actually rewriting my original review using my HTC Incredible as my laptop's internet connection via EasyTether Lite (free). I must say I'm really impressed with this phone. It's super fast, good looking, and customizable. It's a treat to finally have a great phone paired with a great network!
Update September 1st 2010: I have the Froyo Update (Android 2.2 Operating System). I personally manually installed it, but it seems that the Over The Air (OTA) Update from Verizon is finally making it out to the masses. This update lagged some of the competition, but the HTC Droid Incredible is right back at number one in my book!
This update has the following:
Faster More Optimized Operating System (some specific tests show better than 300% improvements, i.e. Linpack)
720p Video Camera Capture Supported
Dual LED Flashlight
3G Mobile Hotspot (there are added charges for using this new feature, I believe about $20/month)
Various New Widgets and More!
It's got 7 screens, which can be viewed individually or all at once. I've got mine setup like this:
1. Home/Main Screen - Weather and Top Used Apps (Last.fm, Skyfire, Gmail, Market, Mail, Mint, Flixster, Camera)
3. Text Widget from HTC Sense
4. Stock Widget from HTC Sense
5. Favorite Contacts
6. Power Widget and Empty Space
7. FriendStream - HTC Sense seemlessly integrated Facebook/Twitter/Flickr
I don't intend for this review to be the end-all of reviews, so I'll try not to cover things other people did already.
Something others have mentioned and I've noticed as well is that battery life could be better. This is the one thing I would change if I could, and I might just do that. It comes stock with the 1300 mAh battery as you can see in the specs below, which just barely cuts it for me. I'm strongly considering upgrading the the Seidio 1750 mAh slim battery which fits in the same space, and should yield about 30% more charge for somewhere around 40 bucks here on Amazon.
I didn't notice you can drag your finger from the top of your screen to see ongoing applications, and current notifications. Hopefully this helps someone else figure this out too! Someone showed me this a couple days in, and it's very nice. Basically this is a quick link to what's just happened on your phone.
Another thing I didn't see in my brief look through reviews is a list of free apps to get you started with brief descriptions:
Advanced Task Killer Free - Kill any application running
AndroidPoker - Texas Holdem Card Calculator App
Astro File Manager - Manage Files, Backup Applications, Install Applications from Backup
BatteryTime Lite - Keep track of Battery Left, Battery Temperature
EasyTether Lite - Tethering App, free version does not access https sites, pay version does
Engadget - Tech Review Site Application
Flashlight - Simple help when you need it
Fring - Skype, Google Talk, AIM, Yahoo, Twitter, ICQ, SIP, and MSN Live Client (works on Wi-fi too unlike Skype's basic app)
Google Goggles - Cool app for image based google searches
Google Sky Map - Star Gazer App, based on phone location and phone orientation, shows what stars and planets are out there
Last.fm - Depending on the day I like this streaming music app better than Pandora.
Layar - Imagine Google Sky Map for restaurants, bars, etc.
MaplePaint - Painting App
Mint - A great application for tracking personal finances
Movies/Flixster - Great movie app (theater and dvd) integrated with Netflix/Rotten Tomato, able to watch trailers instantly
My Verizon - Helpful for tracking phone usage
Pandora - Streaming Music
Scanner Radio - Police Scanner
Shazam - Figures out what song is playing
Skyfire - Slick web browser (or maybe you prefer Opera)
ShopSavvy - Barcode Scanner, Web and local price-checker
The Weather Channel - A good alternative to the Sense Weather Widgets
Games I like (I'm a simple minded phone gamer, all free as well, no descriptions):
Angry Birds - Now on Android!
The 'Papi' Series - PapiCatch, PapiJump, PapiMissile, PapiPole, PapiRiver
Texas Holdem - Red Poker Club
Size/Weight: 4.63 x 2.30 x 0.47 inches / 4.6 ounces
Screen: 480x800 3.7 inch AMOLED
Processor: 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon (QSD8650) CDMA version of Nexus One Processor (QSD8250)
Wi-fi: 802.11 b/g/n (I've clocked my phone on speed tests over 6 Mbps when connected to Comcast)
microSD: 2 GB included / up to 32 GB supported
Radio: FM using headphone cable as antenna
Operating System: Android 2.1 (Eclair) with HTC Sense
Camera: 8 Megapixels with Dual LED Flash
Bluetooth: 2.1 with A2DP Stereo and EDR
GPS: A-GPS (Assisted GPS, can be used for locating you during a 911 call, or more commonly navigation)
Keyboard: Virtual Only
Speech to Text: Basically can dictate texts, web addresses, and almost anywhere you can type
Text to Speech: Google Navigation can speak directions
RAM: 512 MB
ROM: 768 MB / 512 MB for user
Internal Storage: 8 GB moviNand
Battery: 1300 mAh Lithium Ion (checkout Seidio 1750 mAh slim which fits in same space, if you need more power)
Physical Buttons: Volume Control (up/down), Power/Lock (share same button), Optical Joystick (with click)
Additional Sensors: Multi-touch capacitive touchscreen, Ambient Light Sensor, 3-axis accelerometer, Digital Compass, Proximity Sensor
Audio Out: 3.5 mm stereo audio jack
USB: micro-USB (charging and data)
Audio file types supported: AAC, AMR0, OGG, M4A, MID, MP3, WAV, WMA
Video file types supported: 3GP, 3G2, MP4, WMV
Please rate my review up or down as you see fit! Thank you!
15 ways the Incredible beats the iPhone -- and 4 ways the iPhone is better May 6, 2010
Reviewer: Eric Monse "Eric" (New York City) -
I had an iPhone and recently got the HTC Incredible. I loved the iPhone but hated AT&T. But I love the HTC Incredible even better than I loved my iPhone. Here's why.
HTC Incredible advantages over iPhone ------------------
Verizon - I got rid of my iPhone simply because AT&T is terrible here in New York. My sister and her husband in Washington DC got an iPhone over Christmas and they complain about the crappy service there too. Verizon is blazing fast, the best service in NYC.
Widgets - Surprisingly the iPhone doesn't have widgets. The Incredible has some really cool widgets you can use. Widgets are like icons you can add to home screens, but instead of opening a program, the icon itself will give you info or have some other type of functionality like a a list of contacts or booksmarks you can access directly without opening a program first.
Transfer files without iTunes - Whether you like iTunes or not, you are hamstrung using it with the iPhone. With the Incredible, transfer is simple. You connect the phone to your computer and you can copy over files to it.
Connect it to as many computers as you want - I can connect to my computer both at home and at work, something you can't do with the iPhone. Apple annoyingly limits you to one computer to update your iPhone.
Access the file system - Unlike the iPhone, you can copy, paste and delete files from the internal hard drive. You can also copy files from the hard drive to your computer--or any computer for that matter.
Email - E-mail capabilities on the Incredible are better than the iPhone. In addition to global search, you can sort by conversation, sender, date, etc.
8 megapixel Camera with flash - The 8 megapixel camera takes beautiful detailed shots, even better than the iPhone's camera, which actually takes really nice photos as long as it's not dark. The iPhone doesn't have a flash. The camera on the Incredible did crash a few times, a but I'm hoping they will work out in later versions. The Incredible camera is also really fast loading.
Physical Camera button - The Incredible has a physical camera and video record button that works very well. With the iPhone you need to push a button on the touch screen, kind of annoying sometimes.
Faster - The Incredible is blazing fast. There is rarely any lag in switching or loading programs. Very snappy.
Mp3 player access without unlocking screen - When you're listening to music and you click the button to turn on the screen, you don't need to unlock the screen to see what music is playing. The iPhone has that as well. But unlike the iPhone, it also has usable back, pause and forward buttons on the locked screen.
Editable dictionary - You can see and edit the keyboard dictionary yourself and choose what words you want in it.
Send caller to voice mail - If you edit a user's contact, you have an option to always send that user to voice mail if you want. Minor, but kinda cool.
Weather on calendar - When you flip through upcoming days on your calendar, it also displays the weather for that day. Pretty sweet.
Google maps with layers - Android allows you to add `layers' to your map. For example, you can overlay the NYC MTA subway maps and see the actual subway lines. iPhone can't do that.
Super thin - This phone feels thinner than the iPhone, and I think it is in some ways. It certainly fits in my pocket a lot nicer than the Motorola Droid, which felt about 1/3 thicker than the incredible.
iPhone advantages over HTC Incredible ------------------
Music audio quality - I loaded the same some songs on both the Incredible and the iPhone and listened carefully. The iPhone's music audio quality, without any EQ, is slightly better than the Incredible. It's not bad on the incredible, it just sounds slightly punchier across the audio spectrum on the iPhone. The Incredible does have better sound quality than the Motorola Droid, which I also tested.
Equalizer - The iPhone has different equalizer settings. It's poorly implemented and easy to get low-end distortion but at least they have an EQ. No EQ on Android phones. Lame. (See update below)
Alerts - I like the way alerts and text messages pop up on the iPhone better than the Android. It feels like you need to dig too much to access new messages on the Incredible.
Apps - Of course, the iPhone's app store is far more extensive than the Android's. 95% of the functionality I can still get on the Android, but apps for the Android are almost always made second to iPhone apps if at all.
**UPDATE:** There is a great app on the Droid now called PowerAMP. The EQ is fantastic. It's definitely better than the iPhone's built in EQ. It's much more configurable and you can turn down the amp so there's no low-end distortion that you get when you add bass to normal songs on the iPhone. Now, in terms of music quality, I would say the Incredible is as good as the iPhone.
Outstanding Alternative to iPhone April 29, 2010
Reviewer: Peter Marone III (Richlands, NC) -
I had been an iPhone/AT&T customer for the past couple of years, since the first 3G release. The iPhone is a great device, but hampered by the poor AT&T voice network, and the spotty 3G coverage. As a former Verizon customer for years prior to that, I knew the voice quality and coverage was superior, but their smartphone selection really didn't rival the iPhone, and I was stuck with the 2 year contract. I'm glad to say that dumping that contract early to jump back to VZW and the Incredible was well worth the penalty!
The Incredible is fast - almost too fast as it responds quickly to short flicks of my thumb. The optical joystick option for navigation works nicely, especially to avoid extra smudges to the touch screen. The seven page HTC Sense display is unique and has unlimited options for customization - the ability to have functional "widgets" vs. just application launch icons vs. the iPhone make this stand out - as well as the several default configurations to help guide you towards customizing your own configuration. The display itself is bright, sharp, and the higher resolution (compared to the 3G) makes everything pop out, making you "wow" when you first look at it. Customization options are abundant, further allowing you to customize to your heart's content. The seamless integration with Google mail/calendar, Facebook and Twitter, and well as the ability to sync Outlook Calendar and contacts provides a novel method of linking various contacts together for streamlined management of your contacts - for example, if I had you in my Outlook contacts, and also as a friend in Facebook, and followed you in Twitter, the HTC allows me to link those together, so your contact info on the phone allows me to interact with you without having to actually go to those various applications. I even like the fit of the phone in my hands - an iPhone (without a case) always feels like it's going to slip right out of my grasp, but the case of the Incredible seems to "stick" to my fingers, and I never feel like it's going to slip through.
The camera is worlds better than that of the iPhone 3G. Photos are clear, and colors are true to life. The led flashes work well. The only drawback is pushing the optical joystick to take a picture - same problem as with the iPhone. A button on the side of the phone would be preferable.
If you are worried about apps, there's no need to. Just about every app I had on the iPhone has a version in the Android Marketplace, or at least another app that is of equal quality/function. The Marketplace is more cumbersome to use as it's only available through the phone interface - a store to browse and shop via the web on my computer, similar to how the iTunes apps store functions, would be a great addition and make finding apps much easier. The phone interface is quite functional, but trying to compare and select between similar apps would work better on the computer. **Update** Thanks to a comment, I've found Appbrain, which looks like a good solution for this!
If you are tired of AT&T's network and/or the iPhone, the Incredible on VZW is certainly a prospect to investigate. I give it a hearty thumbs up! 4 stars for the Incredible itself, as it can use some software improvements, especially to the Marketplace, and 5 stars for the VZW voice and data network (but 1 star for VZW's continual poor documentation of the phones they provide).
great camera quality
wealth of applications through Marketplace
fit and feel
VZW Network quality
highly customizable interface
integration of contact data
Marketplace apps only through phone interface*(see update above)
Not many accessories available yet
touch screen smudges quickly, and smudges are quite noticeable
Poorly documented by VZW
Buy this phone !! April 29, 2010
Reviewer: Laura Dale (Los Angeles, Ca) -
I got my Droid Incredible in the mail on Tuesday even though the release date is today (4/29).
The phone is stunning...with all the simplicity you'd expect out of a new smartphone and all the fun you'd expect out of a Google phone.
Android OS and Sense
8MP camera (shoots well in low light don't let anyone tell you different)
super fast processor
7 home screens that you can view by pinching. You don't have to swipe through all 7. Makes my friends jealous.
the browser is smooth and fast. Auto aligns text when you zoom. uses multi-touch to pinch and zoom. Smooth scrolling and fast, fast load times.
hard to sync any e-mail other than a gmail account
facebook app sucks, but i just made a bookmark to the full site, since the internet is super fast
optical trackpad is glitchy but i only use it for the camera
battery life...but Seidio is coming out with an extended battery so thats not going to be a problem soon
Honestly, I have been waiting for a phone like this every since the iPhone. I don't have AT&T and to be honest I just don't like Apple as a company. They make cool stuff, but they rip their customers off. This phone is an iPhone killer. Compare them on all levels of performance, looks, functionality, customization, and speed and you'll find that the Droid Incredible is the same if not better. Also, Verizon's coverage is fantastic, so don't be fooled by 4G. I'm sure its great if you live somewhere where you get service.
EDIT: (4/30) This phone eats RAM like crazy. I installed "Advanced Task Killer" but I was still down to only 42M after a few days. I would suggest downloading either "Task Manager" or "TaskPanel" (I have Task Manager and my boyfriend has TaskPanel on his Moto Droid and both work quite well). I also suggest restarting the phone every few days just like you would a real computer.
Other than that still no complaints :)
Love it!! May 10, 2010
Reviewer: W. Westlake (Phoenix, AZ USA) -
This is my first smartphone having been a fence sitter with my old voice / text phone till now. I'd been waiting in anticipation for Verizon to confirm / deny the rumors about the Nexus One since February. Then I started reading online reviews / comparisons between the Nexus One and the newly announced Incredible and felt myself leaning more the the Incredible though the two phones are very similar.
I was happily surprised when Verizon finally broke the silence and announced the availability of the Incredible. And though I was only halfway through my New Every Two plan, upon my request Verizon graciously offered me the phone at the promotional $149 and then simply restarted my New Every Two the moment I activated this phone. THAT'S good customer service.
I've had the phone for over a week and I absolutely love it. Yes there are grumblings about the lean battery life. I won't lie, you do need to be prepared to charge it daily, especially for the first few days. But you have to keep in mind it's a small computer that does REAL multitasking. This is nothing new for those who have owned smartphones previously and does take a little getting used to by the basic voice / text phone crowd (my old voice / text phone went 8-9 days between charging).
The battery is a tad undersized for the power of the phone but then again we consumers want a small, thin form factor. Already there's a 1750 mAh battery available (exact same dimensions as the one it ships with) and rumors of an upcoming 2100+ mAh. And remember, something you can do with this and most every non-Apple mobile device - easily carry a spare & swap / upgrade batteries.
Following the advice on the Android forums, for the first few days I put my phone through full charge / discharge (till completely dead) cycles and have noticed a good 50% gain on battery life.
The screen is gorgeous. Because the phone does true multitasking you have a selection of animated backgrounds including a really cool swirling galaxy, blades of grass waving in the breeze, etc. Touch sensitivity is great albeit a little too sensitive at times (a screen protector really helps in this area). The multi-touch is great and while surfing the web, with most sites you can "drag zoom" (opposite of a pinch) text and pictures and then pan around - especially for those sites that prefer to use annoyingly small microfiche fonts.
Voice quality is excellent - both what you hear and what your caller hears
The speaker is decent for a phone but plug in a decent pair of headphones (uses a standard jack) and you have sound quality rivaling an iPod. Plus the cord on the headphones acts as an antenna for the built-in FM radio.
wifi setup is a breeze though with Verizon's unlimited data plan the biggest benefit to wifi connectivity is speed. I find the range with my home network is as good as my laptop and the phone will automatically switch between known / configured wifi networks and the regular 3G network, with a preference for wifi over 3G. When using the YouTube app, if you're connected on wifi it will automatically always try to get the highest quality version of the video. If you're only on the 3G network then you have to tell the player to use higher quality (since it can take longer to load and possibly not stream as smoothly on 3G).
I've been using the free Pandora app to stream internet radio and have quickly gotten addicted to always-on Internet connectivity. Sound quality doesn't change between wifi and 3G and I can't even tell when the phone switches as I get out of range of my configured wifi hotspots. There is something to be said for the Verizon 3G network coverage. I live in Phoenix and haven't had any connectivity issues.
I do need to mention there's a current issue in the app that shows you 3G signal strength in the phone status bar. It doesn't seem to show true signal strength. That is at times it has shown zero signal strength and I've made calls, surfed, listened to Internet radio with no quality issues. Once again, this is a new phone and nothing an update (they download via the 3G / wifi network, by the way - you don't have to plug it into your computer or take it to the Verizon store) won't correct.
Voice recognition is pretty flawless (actually performed by the Verizon server farm, I believe) and can be used pretty much anywhere you can use the onscreen keyboard.
Integration with Gmail email, contacts & calendar is seamless. In fact if you have a Gmail account you'll see there's no longer any need to keep contacts on your phone. You can assign ringtones, notes, etc to your Gmail contacts exactly as you can to contacts stored locally on the phone so why bother backing up with Backup Assistant, etc? Every time the phone syncs with your Gmail account any changes are "backed up". You do have the option to sync with other email providers but I haven't explored that feature since I only use Gmail.
I've had hit and miss success with Flash video on sites like [...]. But at least the Android OS is committed to supporting Flash so I have full confidence that this will be corrected in an upcoming update.
All this chatter about the Apple store having hundreds of thousands of apps vs Google store only having twenty thousand or so seems rather irrelevant to me. That is, I'm finding PLENTY of apps available and a surprising quantity of great quality FREE apps. And as the Android OS gets more and more popular, and as Apple gets more and more unfriendly toward their "loyal" developers, there are going to be more and more apps available for the Android OS.
Finally, at least in my case Verizon only shipped the anemic printed "Quick Start" guide which did little more than tell you to charge it fully first and gave a quick overview of the phone and setting up Gmail, Facebook, etc. If you do a Google search for "Droid Incredible Users Guide" you'll find a great 206 page PDF of the full users guide. I'm not sure why Verizon isn't shipping it (printed OR CD) though it has their logo on it. If you're new to smartphones and/or the Android OS (like I was) this guide is a must and can help you make the most out of this incredible (ha!) little device.
If you're still a fence sitter like I was, yes, there will always be a better phone "coming". But if you're ready to finally join the smartphone crowd I think the Droid Incredible is an excellent phone to make the leap with.
Awesome phone with a few minor gripes April 30, 2010
Reviewer: ultraconsumer "Luke M." (Portland, OR) -
I've waited for this phone for months. First I thought the Moto Droid would be my LG Dare's successor. Then I saw the leaked photos of the Nexus One and finally the Incredible. After all this time, it has finally arrived and I've spent the last few days playing with it.
The number one question everyone will ask is "How does it compare to the iPhone?" and I think possibly for the first time ever, the answer is that it is *better* in many (or most) ways.
First, the hardware. In person this thing looks like a murdered out (black) version of the iPhone, with a few catchy red accents and a unique faschia around the back. It looks very cool and feels great in your hand. Some places have reported that the backside feels "cheap" and I'll agree -- when the back panel is removed, it feels cheap. But when it's on the phone (99.99% of the time), it feels quite solid and the whole package feels balanced and complete. I like the soft-touch backing because it doesn't show fingerprints. Nice. Yes, the screen will show fingerprints, especially if you run greasy.
Next, the interface. I had never used the Android OS before and wasn't sure what to expect in terms of simplicity, layout, and general elegance. In my opinion, Android nails it. No, this phone doesn't have the sheer simplicity of the iPhones interface. Instead, it gives you something that the iPhone doesn't: control. You get to decide where your icons are. You get to add widgets to your home screen(s). You get folders, program shortcuts, and various wallpaper choices (including animated wallpapers, if you're into that). The interface and customization options are really excellent. This is great if you have even a little bit of tech-geek in you, and it's still intuitive. Everything runs smooth and responsive. And it does multi-tasking, without breaking a sweat.
The external speaker (for music/speakerphone) is excellent for a cell phone; one of the best I've heard with little or no distortion. Of course it doesn't have any bass, but that's to be expected. Multi-touch works perfectly (there were some known issues with the Nexus One because it used an inferior touch processor that has been upgraded in the Incredible). There are all kinds of widgets and programs that come standard so you can get a good jump on customizing your experience. Camera is fine. Sure, it's 8mp (I'd rather have a 3mp with excellent picture quality). No, it is nowhere near a dedicated point and shoot camera. Above average for a cell phone, but don't expect miracles here.
I do have a few gripes so far, and some of them are more of an HTC/Google software thing and not a direct issue with this particular phone. First, the widgets, while nice, are limited in their customization. You often have a choice of 2-3 display styles for a widget, but aside from that there are very few "widget options". They each work pretty well but are limited in their individual flexibility.
Another small annoyance is in some landscape mode keyboards (like when writing a text or filling out a form) you have to hide the keyboard before accepting what you've typed; you can't just hit enter to accept or continue. Sounds small but at times it can be kind of annoying. In portrait mode this problem doesn't really exist, because either there's a button present or you can scroll through content to find it. (Landscape mode overwrites the page content with your text editing area.)
Random note in the middle of my review: the Android Marketplace does not have as many apps as the iPhone. Personally, I don't care. iDon't need a million apps to make my phone useful. The ones that are available in Android have provided everything I've needed (so far).
Finally, there are going to be a lot of people disappointed in battery life. I've only charged mine a few times so far, but this is definitely a phone you're going to need to charge at the end of the day with moderate use, or possibly even sooner with heavy-duty use. I wish they would have packed in a higher-capacity battery, but then at the same time with all of the features on these types of high-end smartphones, I can't expect the battery to do the impossible.
Overall this is THE best phone on Verizon and quite possibly ANY carrier, at least until the Evo 4g and next iPhone. Since Verizon is the best network, though, I give the Droid Incredible 4.5 stars and three big thumbs up. That's right, three.
The "heavy user" review June 9, 2010
As opposed to many reviews, I am not doing a "comparison" review. I have some pretty strict requirements for a smart phone so I'll list those first and you will know where I'm coming from. If I am going to carry something that makes more than phone calls, I have the following list. To have to carry a phone AND a computer everywhere I go does not satisfy my idea of a smart phone and the additional charges. Thus, this is my first smart phone.
1. I travel a lot and MUST make and take phone calls from many areas, some quite remote.
2. To replace my computer I MUST be able to open and run AT LEAST 3 windows at once, and answer phone calls while working - multitasking.
3. I need a GPS a lot of the time - 5 vehicles
4. Google chat
7. Ability to do limited editing of Microsoft Word and Spreadsheet documents
8. I like to have a decent camera with me all the time but frequently forget mine.
9. I must be able to transfer files back and forth between several computers and my cell phone easily - bluetooth is nice, removable sdk card is better.
10. Typing is OK, but speech to text is handier.
11. Occasionally in remote areas I must use the cell phone capabilities to connect computer to internet.
12. Skype is an absolute "Must have"
13. When traveling in motor home, current radar weather can be critical (no one wants to be in a tornado area in a motor home).
15. Calendar directly linked to computer calendar.
16. At least one day of battery life.
If my smart phone does not have these things it falls into the category of a very interesting toy, but not something I can afford to spend much time on.
Don't care, but nice:
So why the HTC Incredible?
I have two dissatisfied children (25 and 46) with AT&T accounts. So much for the iphone. If you live in a city and like it, buy it. But don't ask to use mine or have me make phone calls for you when you have no signal. Sorry.
The Incredible will do all of the "Must have" tasks albeit the speech to text is a bit spotty.
The one time we had spotty phone service in a remote area, my wife and I discovered we could constantly keep in touch using chat. The phone apparently stores the chat until you get a brief burst of signal and then immediately sends it. No problem. Very clever.
The camera takes quite good quality (surprisingly good?) photos, but there is NO REDEYE, even though there doesn't seem to be any reason not to have it - and the video cam does well.
Don't be fooled by a long list of apps for phone X or Y. Totally meaningless. I do all my international banking and credit card work on the Incredible with no problem, edit Microsoft documents, and everything else in my "MUST HAVE" list.
If you are considering buying a smart phone I suggest you make up your "MUST HAVE" list and research the internet carefully. I was quite easily able to rule out everything but the Motorola Droid and the HTC Incredible.
Battery life with such heavy use is not going to be good, so don't be unrealistic with any brand. I need at least 8 hours. I bought a 1750 mah battery replacement which does the trick (check my review in epinions).
Without doubt better than iPhone May 17, 2010
Reviewer: Robin Petersson (Los Angeles, CA USA) -
I took a leap of faith when I replaced my iPhone with the HTC Droid but I have to say that I have fallen in love with this new and Incredible device. The reason I decided to change was because all the specifications beat the iPhone. The HTC Droid has a larger screen, more pixels, a lot better camera with built in flash, faster processor, voice recognition, multitasking, and much more...and with Google as the designer of this operation system I felt my leap was a safe leap. Verizon is another huge draw to switch because they have a faster and more reliable network than at&t and you notice it when you surf the web. The only category where the iPhone beats the HTC Droid is the number of applications, but the great majority of apps are useless anyway so the difference in number of apps means nothing. I have found as many fun and useful apps on the HTC that I did on the iPhone. If you like to customize your phone you'll find the HTC refreshing to use. You can replace pretty much any part of the phone from your web browser to your texting application to your email program. You are not locked in to the software that was shipped with the phone (like Apple who controls every aspect of your phone). Another part of the HTC Droid that I like a lot is that everything you do online from Facebooking to Twitterin to gmailing is suddenly integrated elegantly on your phone. In your address book you can chose between texting your friend or writing on their Facebook wall or show a Google map of their house. When you take a photo you can instantly and easily share it in various ways (Facebook, gmail, flickr, text). Another big plus that I can think of is the volume on the speaker. I could never hear my iPhone ring (unless I used the most obnoxious ring signal) and watching youTube videos often involved having to put the iPhone next to my ear to hear, but the HTC has a real good and loud speaker which you can easily hear. No more missed calls. If you like Google and realize what an amazing company they are you will know how amazing their phone is. Do I have to say I highly recommend this phone??
Great Phone with some flaws May 1, 2010
Ok this is not going to be an in depth review of the phone or its features because there are already a lot of those on here. These are my observations about some things I noticed and not everyone is mentioning.
The build quality of the phone is questionable. Its entirely plastic and is very very light weight. Even with the battery I feel like I am holding a toy. Comparing this to my droid, I feel like I could snap the Incredible in half like a stick. A good hard case could solve this problem.
You practically have to tear your phone apart to put in a micro SD card. Kinda scary lol.
The back cover is really thin plastic and just snaps into place. If you need to remove this often to exchange batteries or sd cards, you might snap it.
The battery life is really difficult to judge because everyone uses their phone differently. That being said I found the battery life to be just about average. My experience with everything on (minus live wallpaper) some web browsing and music, you will just make it to the end of the day. With heavy usage I could definitely see this needing a charge later in the day. While the HTC widgets are AMAZING, they don't help battery life. It will take some time to get that perfect balance of what to turn on and off but still keep it functional.
Signal strength is also hard to judge because it varies individually. When I have my Motorola droid side by side, I get 3-4 bars on my droid and 1-2 bars on the Incredible. I haven't seen equal signal strength yet. This is true every where I take the phone.
Despite all this, its a great phone. Its blazing fast with an amazing screen and HTC sense really makes it intuitive and nice to look at. I ended up returning it because of the things I talked about and keepin my droid. Would still recommend this phone but suggest people go into a store and try it out first.
Did some research on the net and found that the signal strength bars on phones is software setup by the manufacturer. People with a Motorola Droid and HTC have noticed that the actual signal strength in dBM is about the same if you go to "settings -> about phone -> network".
First impressions of the HTC Incredible and why I left iPhone... May 6, 2010
Reviewer: Heath L. Buckmaster "_heath_" (Sacramento, CA USA) -
I recently switched my mobile service from AT&T Wireless and the iPhone, to Verizon and the brand new HTC Incredible.
Why did I switch? I've been a customer of AT&T / Cingular / AT&T for over a decade. I've usually had great service and great phones. I've also had a wide variety of phones from the iPhone to the BlackJack II, to the Cingular 8125, to any number of flip and candybar style phones. At one point I was getting a new phone every year - until I got the iPhone.
The iPhone is the phone I've had the longest, because it pretty much did everything I needed it to do. The problem was that AT&T didn't.
For some time now I've been growing frustrated with dropped calls and lack of signal in places where I don't expect there to be a problem. Sitting in a cafe in midtown Sacramento and the phone telling me it's "searching" for a signal is displeasing to me. I was also hearing great things about the Android phones (Nexus One, DROID, etc.) including the brand new HTC Incredible that was on its way to market.
And so I did some research and made the switch!
First impressions? The phone gets pretty close to living up to its lofty name.
It started out as the HTC Wow! as I began to explore the differences from the iPhone and was filled with excitement. It was all new and it was all fresh, and I enjoyed figuring out what it could do in an of itself, and what it could do that was better than other phones. It's got a fast 1GHz processor, 8MP camera, wireless/GPS/bluetooth, Flash (which is a BIG win over the iPhone), customizable everything, live widgets (sort of like Google desktop), and more!
Then I moved into HTC Uh Oh! when I encountered a known issue with the native email client and IMAP email servers. There is no fix that I've seen so far and I had to install a different email program (K9) in order to get consistent access to my IMAP email accounts. Ok not TOO bad but still was unexpected, because on the iPhone it just "worked". I was also concerned with the native Twitter app called "Peep". It kept notifying me about messages I'd received days in the past - so I installed the brand new native Twitter app and removed Peep and all was well. The final part of my uh oh was that tethering isn't native. You not only have to download software, but there's a fee with Verizon to enable mobile tethering. AT&T didn't even offer it on the iPhone unless you were jailbroken, but I don't understand why this is an extra monthly charge and I dislike it.
Then I phased into HTC Really Good! as I got email working and started to customize my home screens with the applications I use on a regular basis. Things like Google Voice (which deserves it's own mention in a moment), Facebook, Twitter, Ustream broadcaster, Amazon, Wordpress, music streaming, NPR News, TMZ, and a few others including a Bejeweled clone. Battery life popped up as a possible down-side, and I've heard this complaint from other users - but I charge the phone every night and I've turned off the constant GPS fix option and it seems to help. At this point - not enough to drop me out of Really Good.
And then it was time for HTC Wow! again when I realized just how amazingly integrated Google Voice was on the Android system. No longer was it just an app on the iPhone that connected me to my web-based Google Voice account, now it was so integrated that it can actually bypass my phone's native voicemail and send it to Google Voice. This was a special wow because Verizon charges for visual voicemail (note that AT&T does not - it's part of the package). I didn't want to pay for that feature because it was just a nice to have, but I was super pleased that Google Voice can take care of it for me (including transcription and the other awesome features of the tool).
I've finally settled at HTC Great! after about a week of using the phone. Some of the initial issues I experienced, plus the concern about battery life have kept me from reaching the full HTC Incredible! level for myself. It seems as though HTC is paying attention - they have already released an Over the Air update that fixes a potential issue with incorrectly showing service bars - so I'm hoping that updates are going to be regular and beneficial. I love that it happens over the air vs. having to tether to iTunes to do an update.
I love that I can customize every single screen (I'm currently using a 7-screen theme); add live widgets that can show weather, calendars, email previews, facebook updates, twitter updates, and pretty much anything else; the touch screen is intuitive and responsive; and it's just easy to use and personalize to my specific needs.
Having a phone that can be so personalized is a welcome change from the iPhone that wouldn't even let me have persistent wallpaper on anything but the home screen (something that never made sense to me but is apparently being fixed in the 4.0 software release). But that personalization can have tradeoffs. You can load this thing up with so many applications and so many widgets that it becomes unusable, so you do have to watch what you're doing.
In terms of form factor it's very similar to the iPhone but doesn't feel as heavy. The buttons are in intuitive positions, and it seems like they took a lead from the iPhone in design. Buttons can perform multiple functions depending upon the application you're sitting in, and it's super-fast switching from one application to another (thank you intelligent backgrounding).
Overall I'm really happy with the phone and satisfied with the service from Verizon that I've received to-date. So I'm giving my first impressions a 4 out of 5 stars for the HTC Incredible!
* Products and brands are copyrights of their respective companies. Also note - I still have an active iPhone on AT&T service in addition to the new HTC Incredible on Verizon.
Great phone, and a serious challenger to the iPhone June 14, 2010
Reviewer: W. Rodgers (Virginia) -
First of all, I'd like to tell you a little about myself so you get an idea of where I am coming from. I am a college student in computer engineering, and have never had a smartphone before. My previous phone was an LG env2, which while a solid phone had little in the way of multimedia features. I've been waiting for months to purchase an iPhone (and jealously eying my dad's iPhone in the process), but decided to go with the Incredible instead when it became clear the iPhone wasn't coming to Verizon and I couldn't be happier.
The primary reason I decided to go with this phone initially was because of Verizon. My dad has an iPhone 3GS, and even though it is a slick device with great apps and a nice interface, he struggles to get reception both at home and at work (and he lives near a major university and works on that university campus). No matter how awesome a phone is on it's own merits, what good is it if it can't receive calls in the two places where you spend the majority of your time on a daily basis? Note that he is clearly within the stated coverage area for AT&T. As for Verizon, they have an awesome network - I can get 3G in the building where I work while all other networks can't even get cell phone signal.
The second reason I went with Android over the iPhone was because of development. While I don't plan to be a heavy developer, I like the ability to write a simple application if I see the need without having to have both a mac and a developer's license. Additionally, the ability to supply an app outside the app store gives nice flexibility if I don't want to go to all the trouble to have it listed or if I just want to share it with a few people. On that note, while the Android store isn't great and certainly isn't anywhere near as good as the Apple app store, I find that ~95% of the apps I want are available there (plus the awesomeness of several google apps like navigation, maps, goggles and gmail that aren't available through apple), and find that using google search in combination with the Android store is a viable (if somewhat less elegant) alternative to the apple store. Also, the ability to run live widgets (applications that show information passively without being interacted with on home screens) is a nice feature of the Android phone over the iPhone as well.
Now that I've explained why I went with a Verizon Android phone, I'll explain why I went with the HTC Incredible over several other worthy options. The main choices I had with Verizon were the Moto Droid and the HTC Eris. The Eris is designed to be a cheaper, mid-level android device and while there is nothing wrong with that, it wasn't exactly what I was looking for. As for the Droid, it is in my opinion the only serious competitor for the Incredible in the Verizon lineup. While noticeably inferior hardware-wise, it has the advantage of slightly better battery life and a physical keyboard, as opposed to the Incredible's soft keyboard. This does come at the price of making the device noticeably thicker, however, so that's something to be aware of. Personally, I find that with the text-to-speech features and custom on-screen keyboards like swype (which allows you to slide your fingers between keys to make words instead of pressing them - very handy), I can actually type faster than I can on a physical keyboard. But if a physical keyboard is a must, go with the Moto Droid. Additionally, this is definitely personal preference but I really do like the Sense UI of the HTC phones much better than the UI for the Moto phones - it comes off as much more polished and usable in my opinion without sacrificing any of the power of the base interface.
Additionally, be aware that there is another Moto Droid on the way in the next month - the Droid Shadow or the Droid 2 as it is sometimes called. It apparently has, among other things, an updated UI and the same processor as the Incredible (1 GHz snapdragon), but details besides that are sparse. If you aren't sold on the Incredible, it may be to your advantage to wait and see more details on this phone to see if it fits your needs better.
I guess I should probably say a few things about the Incredible itself now - it feels great in my hands, is responsive when I move between applications and windows and has a very nice camera. I was a little disappointed by how much battery the camera uses, but that's to be expected I guess. That leads in to perhaps my biggest disappointment with the phone - the battery life. Coming from an env2 which I had to plug in about once every 10 days, I find myself having to plug this in more than once a day to make it through the day. While a much shorter life than my env2 is to be expected, I was hoping it would last at least a full day of on-and-off moderate to heavy usage, but it can't. However, I have a microUSB cable at work and at home, and I find that if I just put it on the charger whenever I am near my computer and let it charge overnight, that it lasts long enough to get me through those times when I can't charge it.
Advantages of Incredible over iPhone:
-Full multitasking with any app
-No iTunes dependency and the ability to sync with multiple computers
Advantages of iPhone over Incredible:
-Ease of use/learning curve
-Battery life optimization
-HD video shooting
-Better integrated multimedia apps (music, video watching, etc)
-Standardization (development for one platform vs. many platforms)
NOTE: If I could rate Amazon separately, I would give them infinity stars for getting me this phone. It's been backordered on Verizon for months, now showing a date 4 weeks from today as the shipping date if you order now. In contrast, I ordered from Amazon last Wednesday (when they had them in stock - it happens occasionally if you are curious), and had it in my hands on Friday. As usual, A+ service from them.
Google Navigation Response April 30, 2010
Reviewer: J. Moorhead "JWM" (Illinois) -
This is in response to the fellow who said that because the phone can't be on data 3g at the same time as making a call that it might cause a problem if he was talking on his phone while using navigation.
In reality you can use google navigation at the same time as making a call, its not an issue what-so-ever. What happens is google navigation runs in the background and has preloaded the maps it needs onto the built in storage or sd card. You will still hear the voice navigation when talking on the phone so you won't miss any turns but it does not prevent you from making a call as suggested. In fact it works very seemlessly and performs well. Once you hang up the phone it goes right back to navigation and never misses a beat. Its one of the nice features they built into google navigation and one of the reasons this phone (or any android phone running os 1.6 and above) and the android platform are worth their weight in gold.
I have since sold my tomtom navigation unit and that in itself has paid for the price of the phone. The incredible is an amazing device and i would not hesitate for a minute to buy it again. Before this phone i had an eris and while that was nice it was just not quite enough for my needs. The incredible fills the void completely and offers me so much more. I rate this phone a perfect 100/100, i could not have designed it any better myself and there is not 1 thing about this phone i don't love.
Best Android out there April 29, 2010
Reviewer: Chutzpuh "The last PC gamer" (Tucson, Az United States) -
Basically, if you can live without a keyboard, this is the best android out there. 2.1 OS with the HTC Sense UI. It is an experience that I would call good.
If you used the Motorolla Droid (Milestone) you have an idea of what you get here. Really slick interface, lots of fun apps, integrated navigation, the list is endless.
-a 1GHZ processor, I think it is downclocked to around 700 MHZ but there is no slowing or wait time like you get from the Hero.
- built in 8 GB flash storage. Also ships with a 2GB card. Annoying that you can't install apps onto this 8GB space, but it works fine for videos and music.
- half a gig of ROM and RAM. All you really need for speed and applications.
-800x480 AMOLED capacitive touch screen 3.7". This comes out as twice the resolution of the iPhone. Same screen as the Motorola one and same resolution as the EVO coming to sprint in a bit.
-8 Mpx camera with 480p video recording, dual flash. Better than many cameras out there, minus the optical zoom.
-Video out via an HDMI propriatary connector.
The OS itself is amazing. Last night I installed my SNES emulator and was rocking some old games. Deposited a check to my bank using the camera scan function (this depends on your bank). Scanned a barcode on a store and did a price comparison, then had a map drawn to the best place close by. Took a picture of a book cover and found it online. Really amazing stuff. With open development, you get great apps that are not pulled just because any company doesn't like the competiton (i.e. Google Voice on the iPhone). The store may be lacking right now, but I found everything I wanted. Tethering applications, apps to track hiking progress, fist bump for some crazy reason, all of it great.
HTC did some nice stuff here with the UI, the addition of some on screen buttons to turn bluetooth and WiFi on and off rather than scrolling through menus. That lovely weather and clock on the main page, and 7 home screens (if I recall the Droid only had 3 or 4). I also noticed that the built in browser supports pinch zoon unlike the Motorola one. No need for Dolphin browser for me now.
Engadget had an amazing review on this, and I agree with their thoughts for the most part. This is the best android OS phone on the market today. It is so good that Google has decided not to release the Nexus one to Verizon. If you can live without a keyboard (I havent decided on that yet) then this is the phone for you.
I give 4 of 5 for the hardrive flash install issue and some other strangeness. Having to rip the phone in half to get to me SD card is scary. Seroiusly, you don't slide the back plate off, you rip the phone in half. I didn't like this and I hope not to do it often. No landscape keyboard in some places is annoying. Messaging and internet stuff you get it, but entering contacts was a chore with the upright keys. I see great things for this phone, need to check out the video out function, but this looks like the big open source phone that I have been waiting for.
It's like an iphone...if you could also use an iphone as a phone! June 4, 2010
Reviewer: John Manigrasso "joe blockhead" (asbury park, NJ) -
I became eligible for a new phone under Verizon's "New Every 2" plan a few days before the Incredible came out. I was torn between the Motorola Droid and the HTC Incredible, mostly because I prefer physical QWERTY keyboards and didn't know how well I'd adapt to texting or emailing without one. However, some other perks made the Incredible more attractive, those being:
1: The faster Snapdragon processor. My experience playing with the Motorola Droid was limited, but this certainly seems faster & more responsive.
2: The better camera. 8MP over the Motorola's 5.
3: The built-in memory. I have a very long commute and got used to having a 160GB mp3 player handy, using it for music or video while surfing the net on my motoQ (lest it need to be said, I'm not driving). Now that the battery on that bad boy is getting weaker and weaker, I was looking forward to having one device to handle instead of 2, but I really miss having a ridiculous amount of entertainment options at my disposal (plus extra storage to boot). While I'm still waiting on a 32GB microSD card, having a 16GB card PLUS the 8GB that comes built in to the Incredible won out over the piddling amount of built-in memory the Motorola Droid has.
4: The built-in FM Radio receiver. Why FM radio? Because a Droid with a built-in 8-track player would be just too damn big. But seriously, ladies and germs, without going into too much potentially grisly detail, if there happened to be some sort of catastrophe - natural OR manmade - the sort of thing that knocks out cell service, and I was on foot with no access to a wifi signal, I wanted that one additional option to potentially get information I may need. I may never actually use the radio, but it adds a small measure of comfort knowing it's there.
As far as the phone itself, I've only had it for a few days, and haven't explored all the bells and whistles it has. Nor have I gone too crazy downloading apps. But I'm a convert. The clarity on the phone is amazing, and using it as a media player as often as I do, I'm struck by the audio quality, even just using bare-bones Sony in-ear phones (the earphones with a built-in mic as part of an Incredible after-market package leave a lot to be desired, however). The difference between surfing the internet now and when I had the Q is akin to the difference I noticed when I dropped dial-up service for a cable modem on my home computer. It's that drastically better. The phone came delivered with a bonus 2GB card and USB card reader, and I thought the reader would get a lot of use transferring files from my Powerbook (I could never get the memory of the Q to mount on my Powerbook, not sure it was ever supposed to be able to do it). But the Incredible opens up on my Powerbook just fine, as 2 different storage devices (built-in and memory card). Pictures look amazing, instant uploading is easy, it's exactly as good as the reviews I've read and seen made it out to be. Biggest negative (currently the only negative) is the battery life, and will be swapping it out for an extended life battery soon. To be fair, I've used it a lot for internet and watching video, and for someone who's mainly using it to talk on the phone, with the screen not being a factor, your battery life will probably be better. And the standard battery on my Moto Q was awful, too, so I'm used to having to get a better battery. If I could only take a half-star off a review, I would.
The HTC Droid Incredible is a really good phone, and couldn't recommend it more highly.
(And I've become much more adapt at typing without a physical keyboard. Damn thing seems to get better at knowing what keys I'm trying to type with my stubby digits, rather than the keys I'm probably tapping)
LEAPS Ahead of my BB Tour--but battery life is dismal at best August 27, 2010
Reviewer: Jeff Edwards "RadioJeff" (Twin Falls, Idaho) -
I am most likely going to trade in my Incredible for the Driod X (as soon as one becomes available that is) however I am doing this for purely personal & impatient reasons rather than because the phone is not up to what I had hoped. I have (secretly) wanted an Android device for several months now having originally started my smartphone experience with a Palm Treo 650 (at the time I LOVED that phone), I upgraded to the 700p and subsequently the 755p before making the HUGE leap to another OS altogether with my first Blackberry, a Bold using AT&T. While I had viewed most BB users as arrogant A-Holes (for the most part, entirely unjustified of course) I reluctantly began to not only like the BB platform, but slowly I came to prefer it. I still maintain that BB's are NOT as out-of-the-box user-friendly as ANY of the ancient Palm devices, but I really appreciated what it COULD do that my Palm couldn't.
I became--again, quite reluctantly--a power Blackberry user. Unfortunately I was attached to the abysmal AT&T service, which has almost a universal bad rep for spotty (at best) service. They brag (and brag and brag...) about having the 'Nations Fastest 3G Service', which may be true--however what GOOD is it when your phone cannot receive a signal in the same location where my wife's Verizon BB Curve had 3G service?? I'll take reliable connection over spotty and fast 3G service ANY day. Long story short, I had to trade my phone in and without having to explain WHY, I was given a Windows Mobile Tilt 2 as a replacement (not MY choice--it was a promotional thing which I had zero control over). This proved to be without a doubt, the WORST phone I have ever used or even heard of. I applaud HTC's design, the phone itself was very nice (although it WAS amazingly heavy--easily the heaviest I have ever owned, by quite a large margin, too)...what I did NOT like was the HUGELY unreliable Windows Mobile platform. My phone froze on me multiple times per day and I couldn't wait to get rid of it. I went back to BB only this time I finally signed onto Verizon and LOVED my Tour.
I decided it was time to upgrade and while I LIKE the iPhones, I have serious issues with Apple in particular and how they have twisted so many people into thinking their devices are superior 'Just 'Cuz' they're made by Apple, thereby also making the owners superior as well. While my initial thoughts of BB owners, once upon a time was unjustified, I have to say that my opinions of the vast majority of iPhone owners I have run into have been pretty much right on the money: arrogant A-Holes. Sorry, but its true--not ALL of them, mind you, just those I seem to run into, apparently.
I have been eyeing the Droid X for quite some time, but the wait to get one seemed impossibly long. I went ahead and got the Incredible based on several comments by the Verizon employee assuring me that other than screen size, the Incredible was its equal. She insisted it came pre-loaded with a 16gb SD card--it did not (2gb) and also had the 2.2 Froyo update as well--it does not, at least not yet. Based on this information, knowing that along with 2.2 the Incredible is supposed to have mini WiFi hotspot capabilities as well as HD video recording, I went ahead and got one all the while in the back of my mind knowing that if I didn't like it, I could always bring it back within 30 days. Sure 'nuff, no 2.2 OR 16gb card, which really pissed me off. How is it the employee (a manager no less) would NOT know this? Honestly I think she was just seeing a guaranteed sale and put on her Used Car Salesman sportcoat and said whatever I wanted to hear in order to make a quick sell.
With that being said, the Incredible really IS a fantastic phone. Honestly, with the amount of texting I do just between my wife and children and me, the Speech-To-Text feature is worth the cost alone. While not 100% accurate and good for pretty much just short comments, using it while driving is a LIFE saver--literally, and I am NOT endorsing texting while driving, mind you. Its SO simple, instead of playing around with the 'virtual keyboard' which is hard enough to use--and downright stupid to do while driving. I still believe that driving and using a cell phone is stupid, which is why I believe this feature to be so great. The number of apps I have found are amazing...and best of all: most are FREE. Sure you'll find more than twice the number of apps available for the iPhone, but come on, seriously, how many apps do we NEED?? It took me over an hour to just browse a small fraction and I found more than what I will ever use in that time. If you prefer iPhones and their apps, that is fine, I'm just saying you can find JUST as many really useful apps for Android devices and much, MUCH more free apps than you will ever see available for iPhones, iPads and whatnot. As new as the Android platform is, to have as many apps available as it does clearly puts it ahead of how far apples app store was at in the same time frame.
The live wallpaper is just awesome. Its entirely useless I'll admit, but amazingly cool nevertheless. I really like how I can customize my phone however I see fit. I really like the fact that whenever I see fit, I can change my phone any way I want. Just cool. The touch screen is very responsive--almost too responsive--and you'd have to experience it to understand I guess. The optical track pad is a nice addition, especially for the times when I want to edit on the screen but my fingers were too big (another reason I want an X), however if there is a way to adjust the sensitivity of the pad, I couldn't find it, and I wish I could. Also, when looking up a contact, I couldn't immediately pull up an on-screen keyboard in order to begin a text, which was a bit frustrating, especially if alphabetically their name was far down on my list...it took that much longer to get TO the contact. If there is an easy way around this, someone please let me know. Having the weather on the main screen with the ability to update whenever I want is convenient, and unlike the same similar feature that was included on my old HTC Tilt 2, this one automatically grabs the weather from the area closest to where its receiving your signal from--all without you asking. I suppose you can pick from different cities, but as a general rule, I only want to know what the weather is like where I currently am, so I am perfectly satisfied with this feature as is.
The camera takes rather great pics--so far the best I've personally seen from a camera. Unfortunately as is normal for cell phones, as soon as it becomes dark, your ability to take better pics becomes dramatically reduced. Lets just say, for everyday point-and-shoot situations in decent light, this camera is a pretty good substitute for your regular digital camera. The photos--while 8MP in resolution, as we've all seen thanks to the fantastic processing on the iPhone 4's 5MP camera, more does not necessarily mean better. This is one area where the iPhone truly does excell ahead of all major phones available at the moment, although that probably will change here within the year I would imagine.
For a phone with a 1Gig processor, switching between texting chats certainly can take up to 5-6 seconds before it opens up the screen, which I just did not expect. Most everything else is as quick as I've been hearing from other users, but to open a chat log in texts takes MUCH more time than I expected, and to be honest, longer than my 2 year old BB Tour did. However, in every OTHER way it is blazing fast...especially with the internet. Coming from a BB which, as we ALL know has just about the worst browser available on a hand-held device, man I gotta tell you I felt like I was connected to DSL speeds like my home computer...and while that comparison is mighty generous, it really isn't all that far off the mark. Pages load incredibly fast with this browser, which I put on par with the iPhone in EVERY way--and once this receives update 2.2 it'll blow it out of the water...literally.
The screen is, well, wonderfully vivid and easily the best I have owned (thus far). Pictures are crisp, clear and detail is always easily projected. I have only seen an iPhone 4 briefly, and while everyone seems to universally praise it for having the best screen available to any smartphone at the moment, I think you'd have to have beyond normal vision to be able to look at one and say with absolute certainty that you can clearly see a major difference between one and the other. Seriously, phone pixel density is becoming so good these days that almost nobody can honestly see a measurable difference. I'm not saying you CANNOT see one, but I AM saying that what difference there is, well, has to be a minor one at best. I am 100% certain however, that there will be apple fans who cannot help but disagree vigorously, and while my eyesight isn't what it used to be, its good enough to say this with confidence. I am NOT knocking the iPhone here at all, either. It has an amazingly clear, crisp and vibrant screen. I just think the gap between that and the incredibles screen is closing rather quickly, thats all.
Battery life is lacking to say the least. This is one place where the iPhone not only is the clear winner, but knocks one outta the park in comparison. Supposedly with 2.2 battery life will increase dramatically, but until I get that update, it pays to purchase a car charger and never be very far away from an outlet, either. Honestly, the battery life is dismal--at best...and I have worked hard to organize my phone in such a way that I use only what is necessary. I dim the screen, don't use bluetooth or WiFi hardly at all and even just sitting on my desk it saps the battery down noticeably in a short amount of time. Sorry, but this is ridiculous, especially knowing that the Droid X with a MUCH larger screen has a great deal better battery life than my smaller one...? This is one area where I believe the Incredible doesn't just do poorly, it downright fails--and is my ONLY major gripe about this device.
Call quality seems good to excellent. Speaker volume was exceptional. Love the app Market for Android. My wife and I were wondering where to go for dinner, and within 90 seconds, I had found an app to help me find a place to eat, downloaded it and received directions on my screen. Amazing. While we were at dinner, I downloaded Flixter (for free), found the closest theater, and even watched a theatrical trailer for the movie we wanted to see, all within about 90 seconds. Sorry, but this is one way in which the Android platform is not just better, but head & shoulders superior to iPhone and the slow & clunky way you have to access their app store. Again, if you are okay with this, then fine. I happen to like doing things this way, personally.
All in all, I have to say that this phone is purely awesome, and such a leap ahead of my BB that words hardly can describe. The ONLY area in which BB's STILL continue to dominate is in push e-mail delivery, regardless of where your email comes from. I still can't help but wonder why no other carrier or manufacturer after ALL this time, still cannot mimic the push email with the same ease of set-up and swift delivery that BB has delivered for YEARS. Oh well, that is--in MY opinion--the ONLY place where android suffers. While the calendar application isn't as polished as say my ancient Palm Treo was (face it, Palm RULED when it came to organizing schedules, which is what it was originally designed to handle), but what I have is certainly workable, and I'm absolutely certain that right now if I looked hard enough, I could find a FREE calendar app to download that would give me everything I need...heck, maybe I'll run and fetch that right now...and thankfully because I am not tied down to my home computer with iTunes, I can download it on the fly wherever I am as long as I have a decent connection--which, thanks to Verizon is just about everywhere I plan to go.
Before I get hateful responses, let me say this: clearly apple manufactures an amazing product in the iPhone. I find it interesting that literally out of nowhere, when it debuted, the iPhone instantly became the phone to beat. Just look at all the smartphones available today, they are ALL judged by the iPhone standard and almost no other. When a new phone comes out, they almost always are compared to the iPhone--and there is good reason for this. Some like everything about apple, Steve Jobs and all that goes with it. Face it, Steve has done an amazing job--like him or not, thats just a fact. With the iPhone 4's reception issues aside, it is clearly still the phone to beat out there. Has Android made a better platform than iOS? Yes & No. In some ways I believe the Android OS is clearly superior and in some ways the iPhone is. At this moment, it basically comes down mostly to what you personally prefer (unless you aren't a fan of AT&T). If I weren't on Verizon and I lived elsewhere I probably would own an iPhone myself--but having been ON the AT&T service for a little over a year, I can say that at least in the area that I live, it isn't an option because their coverage is so poor. But when it comes to comparing one phone to another, you need to do your research and go with what you personally like, and if thats an iPhone, good, if its something else? Fine. Do what YOU want, and don't let anyone tell you differently.
I think that if you are a fan of the android OS then you cannot go wrong with the Incredible...unfortunately, without my reading glasses, I need the X in order to fully explore everything my phone is capable of...and admitting that is certainly not a simple thing to do in my case.
After using the phone for over a week now, I am STILL impressed as I (im)patiently wait for the next stock of Droid X's to arrive. One additional thing I really like about the HTC Sense UI that I believe is not available on the X (however I am NOT 100% sure of this) is how I access the calendar, choose a specific date, and as long as it isn't too far ahead, at the bottom of the screen will be the weather prediction for that day. While I don't put an aweful lot of faith in the typical meteorologists ability to accurately predict anything beyond 36 hours at best, it still is a pretty nifty feature to have.
One thing I found weird was that the phone did NOT come with a full user manual. It DID come with a Tips & Tricks booklet, but that essentially is good for just unboxing the phone for the first time & getting it started. I downloaded the manual from the internet, but again, the script was small enough that reading it and scrolling from one page to the next to find what I wanted was a bit too inconvenient for me to want to rely on it for very long. I'll stick to reading about it on a PDF on my home PC.
If I had to add a small-but significant gripe, the charging light, which also doubles as a blinking alert when you receive a text or email is quite a bit smaller and much harder to see than on my old BB. I wish that while it was charging that it could still somehow alert you to a new message, but unless you feel & hear it vibrate, tough luck. To the left of the Verizon logo just underneath the speaker in front I can make out an alert light of some kind, but I have no idea what it is for. It hasn't gone off once since I have used my phone and haven't found what its purpose is for in the manual, either. I suppose I'll keep looking it up til I find out.
Its nice to receive alerts to new updates for specific apps I've installed...and I never went looking to see if they had updated, I just received the notice overnight and gave me the choice to update if I wanted. STILL waiting on the update to Froyo 2.2 but I suppose I'll just have to wait that one out. Verizon confirmed that the update was ready and they started sending them out wirelessly as of Friday August 27th, but they were doing it region-by-region and I am pretty sure that the higher populated areas will get theirs first and soforth (meaning I'll get it last more than likely). I found where I could manually download from google direct the update, but I have read too many stories of how the phone didn't work properly if done even slightly incorrect to even a few horror stories that afterwards the phone ended up bricked as a result of missing a step or not doing everything literally EXACT. As much as I want better battery life--which apparently seems to be one of the many by-products for the Incredible while using 2.2--I'm gonna wait 'til it arrives from Verizon directly. I just hope it doesn't take much longer.
Woke up this morning with a notice saying Froyo 2.2 HAD arrived. The OTA update took maybe 7-8 mins and I lost no data--which seems to be an issue, or at least a worry of some Incredible owners. I have noticed a few new perks right up front: 1 new live wallpaper (the background that we always see on the Nexus 1), an app for mobile hotspot and faster internet browser...it isn't THAT much faster because, lets face it: it was already pretty dang fast. The dInc already had Flash Lite, so haven't had time to mess with other websites sportin' Flash just yet, but I will.
I noticed that the texting threads look a bit different, and the SEND button is no longer there...it has been replaced with an icon that I wasn't too sure what it did--at first. While it isn't a big deal, especially since I figured out how to send my texts once ready, I gotta wonder why they would get rid of such an obvious button like SEND? Weird.
So far battery life is dramatically improved with the new update. Normally between waking up and arriving to work my battery will have noticeably drained, but not nearly to the same degree now. My phone also seems faster to respond going from task, to task. I hope this isn't wishful thinking. Yesterday I found a Direct Message shortcut to texting so I don't experience the MAJOR 6-7 second lag (it got worse) it would take to open up a single threaded text message...which had to be my BIGGEST complaint against the phone. Finding a way around it was absolute pure bliss to be honest.
As another reviewer noted, I suppose the only real drawback to owning an android phone is how UN-Productive you can be become because of spending so much time playing with the darned thing. Seriously, it seems that daily I find a new and really cool new thing it can do. I haven't been this happy with an electronic device since--well, since, I guess I've never BEEN this excited before because I've never owned anything that can do as much as it can--and I haven't even scratched the surface of what its full potential is.
One more thing: I am VERY impressed with how thin the phone is. I know iPhone claims the new model is the thinnest smartphone available, but I'm sorry, but if it is, then it sure isn't by any degree that I can see with the naked eye. I also LOVE the rubberized coating on the back. I know not everyone likes that particular style, but it sure feels comfortable in my hand. I know I am still looking forward to whenever my X will arrive, but it certainly seems that after each day goes by, I contemplate keeping the Incredible more and more. Who knows? I just might hang onto it after all...
A few things to point out with the upgrade to Froyo 2.2 on the DInc...I now have additional apps that came with it that CANNOT be deleted--removed, or--it would seem--be able to even stop from running in the background. The Skype app seems to start spontaneously all by itself and even when I force it to stop, every now and then I'll see it start up all by itself. This is inexcuseable to FORCE us to run an app--unless we WANT to. Plain and simple. I love how I can custom organize almost everything about my DInc, but making it so my phone will slow down due to unwanted apps running in the background--and ensure that I won't be able to stop them is not just a problem for HTC, Android and Verizon, but something that I feel will force otherwise BIG fans of the Google service off to something else entirely. In the grand scheme of things, is Skype running in the background THAT big of a deal? Maybe not to everyone, but I guarantee it is a big deal for many--including me. It really upsets me that when I use Task Manager to close specific programs, I find out later that certain apps RE-Started again ALL BY THEMSELVES.
Hey Verizon! If you're reading this: FIX IT NOW. Android really IS (IMO) a fantastic OS--however, if you go all Big Brother on us, you're going to find fewer and fewer people attracted to buying your phones. I expect another OTA fix to arrive and correct this monumental blunder soon or I may switch to something else entirely--which is really sad because otherwise I really LOVE this phone.
Just found a place to download Swype for my phone. Originally I had found SlideIT in the Marketplace for free--and it is almost identical in every way--except it was just a Demo, and after a few days it expired...and being the amazingly cheap individual that I am, I searched and searched (it DID take awhile) until I found where I could download Swype for free (the Beta Testing was over, dangit!). I had to do a bit of fidgeting to figure it out all the way, but I did it, and now I've got it and I LOVE it. If anyone believes they can text using a real keyboard OR a virtual one faster than using Swype, TRUST me, they are fooling themselves. Swype (or SlideIT if you're willing to pay 'cuz you can't find Swype for free) blows both of them out of the water by a pretty huge margin. I know some believe they CAN text faster using an actual keyboard, but I highly doubt it (ie NO freakin' way).
Tons to love about this phone April 29, 2010
Reviewer: J. Klomps (Tucson AZ) -
Let me first say this phone is fast and beautiful. Plenty of FREE apps. The Sense UI from HTC is a wonderful addition on top of the amazing Android OS.
I love that I can have different scenes. Makes it nice for both home and work. The phone is very customizalbe. I love that I can have very few icons on the home screen or tons. The I love the weather widget.
For the price, you really can't go wrong.
Free Turn by Turn Navagation is a major plus.
HTC Droid Incredible May 31, 2010
Reviewer: ObsidianGT (SoCal, USA) -
Let me get this out of the way first: This phone is significantly better than any other smartphone in its class, including the iPhone 3GS.
Coming from a ROOT-ed Motorola Droid running 2.1, I had a difficult time not being able to remove the crap apps (like City ID, more on that later) on the Incredible (also running 2.1). Also, getting used to the interface changes that the HTC makes is difficult, but once I got used to them I found them great. I like how it can integrate so many things into HTC's Sense UI; Google Contacts, Facebook contacts (and galleries!), Flickr Galleries, Twitter, Company Directory, etc etc. I actually signed up for Verizon's Visual Voice Mail because of the fantastic integration that the HTC Messages app has with it. Some, but not all, of the standard apps are still there, like Calendar. HTC removed some standard Android apps probably to help avoid confusion and redundancy.
The HTC Clock/Weather widget is pure eye-candy, if you don't mind it taking half your home screen. The HTC Widgets are top-notch, for sure, especially the Calendar widget. The Friend Stream widget shows your Facebook, Flickr and Twitter updates as a whole, and not just cut-off messages. But, if you launch the actual app, from the Widget icon, for example, the app itself allows browsing all of the galleries, status updates, etc. in an organized and easy to find fashion. The Add Widget interface has a link to download more HTC widgets such as a Coin flipper, Dice, Notes, "Today In History, and a Tip Calculator/Check Splitter. Note that this device is missing the HTC News widget, but, using EStrongs File Explorer I was able to install the Android 2.1 GenieWidget.apk New Widget from the Nexus One (upon install it gave an error, but actually worked after a reboot).
There are a few others tweaks that people might appreciate. The first thing that someone may notice is the "black glass" theme, with widgets to match. It's fairly well done and reminds me of AdamZ Smoked Glass ROM. Reopening the app drawer takes you back to where you recently left off, instead of having to scroll back down (handy if you have a lot of apps). There is also a feature called Scenes, which allows you to save your device's current customization state (widgets, wallpapers, screens). There are some default ones like Work, Travel, Play. I'm not sure if Scenes integrate with Locale. Of course there are the 7 home screens with screen preview (also possible with Helix or ADW Launcher).
I did not care for the physical keyboard of the Motorola Droid. After finding gesture-based keyboards, I will likely never go back (ShapeWriter, Swype). But, the HTC IME keyboard is fanstatic, too. It's on-par if not better, than the iPhones'. The OLED screen is stunning. Everything looks so much better on it than on the Moto Droid's LCD screen, it's hard to describe. The auto-brightness works great, too. Note that the Incredible's resolution is slightly less at 800x480 versus 854x480 for the Moto Droid, but it's not really a problem or even very noticeable.
Compared to the Motorola Droid, this smartphone feels significantly lighter. I know it's only about a 1.5 ounce difference and about the same thickness, but it feels much thinner and lighter than the numbers suggest. I suppose at this scale, every little bit really does make a large difference. I haven't put the trackball to any use other than having to click it for the camera. I'm not really sure what I would use it for that isn't already easy enough to do on the touch screen.
As for speed, this device is ridiculously fast. This phone has a 1GHz processor and 8GB of internal storage with capacity for up to 32GB more via microSD card. It is a huge improvement over the Motorola Droid, even when it was overclocked to 1Ghz. It's super-stable, too. I haven't had a single Force Close at all. The camera takes photos super fast. The browser loads super fast. The interface and animations are super fast. Everything about this phone is just pure speed. The battery life seems to coincide with the quickness of the phone, with significantly increased drain on the battery compared with my Motorola Droid.
This phone runs on rocket fuel with a ten-gallon tank. It's going to get you where you need, fast, but you'll have to filler-up to continue. I will admit that strangely enough, the battery life has been slowly getting better with each charge (about 10 charges now). It has been difficult pin-point the exact issue with the battery, since the Battery Usage section shows Android System as using nearly 90+% of the battery every time I've checked. The Motorola Droid was more specific (display, WiFi, Android OS, Android System, etc.) Seidio has a 1750mAh battery that is the same size as the original which provides a nice boost without adding bulk to the phone.
Hopefully, the few complaints I have can be addressed with the availability of ROOT for this phone, which is in the works. The ability to under/overclock it should address some of the battery concerns. I suspect that trimming down the OS will help as well, as I'm sure some of those background service apps are taking a toll on battery life.
In conclusion, this is a very fast, beautiful device. It truly lives up to its name.
I'd also like to take a moment to give a big F-U to Verizon for forcing the City ID app on us. A $1.99 monthly subscription app that comes preinstalled as a 15-day trial on the phone and cannot be uninstalled! It is supposed to "display the city and state of an incoming call", but that is false and misleading. It displays the origination of a caller ID number, not where the caller is actually physically calling from. I could have a Los Angeles, CA cell phone number, but be in Las Vegas, NV and it shows up as Los Angeles, CA. Stupid, stupid, stupid. On top of that, some people are reporting that after 15 days are up, it nags you about subscribing each time a phone call is received. I've only had my phone for about a week, but I'm not looking forward to this.
Out of the way, iPhone! April 30, 2010
Reviewer: Ethan Anderson (Houston, TX USA) -
The HTC Droid Incredible is ambitiously named, but lives up to the expectations. The screen is absolutely amazing. It's bright, saturated, and looks absolutely beautiful. It responds very well to touch, and is big enough to display webpages, apps, and most importantly to me, Google Maps.
The excellent screen, paired with the 1GHz SnapDragon processor creates a fast, colorful experience that can't be matched by the current generation of iPhones or BlackBerries. Navigation is smooth and seamless, even while running Pandora in the background and reading the news in a browser or looking for apps in the Android Market.
The GPS is quick to lock on, much faster than the BlackBerry Bold I previously used. Google Maps works beautifully with this phone; the amazing screen and fast processor really shine. The navigation feature in the newest version of Google Maps works wonders despite being a beta version.
This phone sets the bar high and easily out-performs the current aging generation of iPhones. The Android market is growing at a rapid pace, and the Android OS is superior in many ways to the iPhone OS. Even so, the real stars of the show are the screen and CPU. This is the first phone I've used that can replace a laptop for basic functionality.
Excellent phone, decent battery life September 21, 2010
Reviewer: Ben Ben "two1stnamz"
Purchased this phone in August to replace a Sprint POS 4 function phone that I've had for a while. The phone is all around a great device. I'm divided on whether to write a lengthly review or just the bulleted pros cons list, but I'll got with the latter.
- Very light
- Very thin
- Excellent 8 Mega-Pixel Camera w/ LED flash
- Comes with ~6.5GB internal phone memory
- Multi-tasking is smooth/seemless
- MP3 playback is excellent
- Web browsing is smooth
- Most all apps that you would need are free
- Battery life for talk is very good
- Touch screen is just right sensitivity wise. On screen keyboard, when turned sideways is pretty good
- Battery life while texting or browsing the web is pretty bad (reaches half life in a matter of 1-2 hrs)
- In call phone reception isn't the greatest, but I'm still trying to diagnose whether this is a coverage issue or the phone itself (as of now I could go either way)
- Comes with several annoying pre-installed apps that cannot be uninstalled. These apps also randomly run in the background. You can download a free app manager to kill these apps but they just auto launch again (probably a major player in the battery drain). This seems to be an issue with most Droid phones though, not just an Incredible issue.
Replaced my iPhone and love it.No more Apple dictatorship May 19, 2010
Reviewer: L. Cook (Indiana United States) -
I replaced my 3G iPhone, as I had terrible signal with AT&T and was stuck on the slow edge network most of the time. Since switching to Verizon, I get 3G everywhere and I can customize my phone without going through the trouble of jailbreaking the phone. I use Google for almost everything so it integrates perfect. I love Google voice. The customizations are almost endless, the first couple days I felt like I was chained to my phone as I couldn't put it down. My only disappointment is battery life but that can be fixed with additional batteries or an extended life one. Since switching I haven't missed my iPhone once, finally a serious contender to the Pompous dictator Apple.